Iraqi women targeted for execution by IS

Women who are active within Iraqi communities are being targeted by the Islamic State, and subjected to terrible crimes including rape, kidnapping, sexual violence and executions.

al-monitor A woman looks on as other displaced minority Yazidis, who fled violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, sleep on the ground at Bajed Kadal refugee camp, southwest of Dahuk province, Aug. 23, 2014. Photo by REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal.

Topics covered

women's rights, sharia, islamic state, iraqi women, capital punishment

Oct 10, 2014

The Islamic State (IS) does not make any distinction in terms of sex, sect or race when committing its heinous crimes. IS has recently focused its terrorism on civilian women who are active in politics, human rights, media and medicine.

On Oct. 6, IS executed a Turkmen former parliamentarian for the province of Ninevah, Iman Mohammed Younis al-Salman, more than a month after she was abducted from her home in the district of Tal Afar.

The militant group refused to hand over Salman's body to her family and instead threw it down a well. Salman was the first woman to enter the parliament for the district of Tal Afar and became a member of the House of Representatives in 2004. She was also the first woman to preside over a civil society organization in Tal Afar — the humanitarian organization Al-Malak — and the first woman journalist in the history of the Tal Afar district.

Late on the night of Oct. 8, IS militants executed eight women, shooting them in central Mosul, without stating any reasons for their act. These women included Dr. Maha Sabhan, a surgeon; Dr. Lamia Ismail and six other women who were housewives. Their bodies were handed over to forensics.

Samira Salih al-Nuaimi, a lawyer and human rights activist, was killed by IS members in mid-September in Mosul “for criticizing IS on social networking sites by calling it a 'Non-Islamic State.'”

Sources in Mosul told Al-Hayat that Nuaimi, also known as Um al-Nakhwa, was executed in a public square. During the same period, 30 other people from Mosul were executed, including four women. A few days ago, the group issued a statement telling their families to collect their bodies from the forensics department, because the city morgue was full.

A report issued by the United Nations Mission for Iraq covering the period from July 6 to Sept. 10, 2014, said that IS violations included kidnapping, rape and other forms of sexual and physical violence against women and children.

The report added, "Various ethnic and religious components of the Iraqi community, be they Turkmen, Shabaks, Christians, Yazidis, Mandaeism, Feyli Kurds, Arab Shiites and others, have been harmed in particular."

It explained that IS-linked armed groups targeted these sectors deliberately and systematically and committed serious violations of human rights designed to destroy, suppress and eliminate their presence in IS-controlled areas.

This violence against women in particular is not arbitrary, but rather a weapon used by IS to terrorize Iraqi women to force them to abide by the Sharia provisions that it is imposing, such as wearing the niqab. The group's practices limit their freedoms and silences them out of fear that the circle of women opposing its laws will expand.

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